3 reasons Cleveland Browns will miss Christian Kirksey

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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His Production

Prior to the last two injury-shortened seasons, Kirksey was recognized as an emerging linebacker in the league. According to PFF, he was tied for the most solo tackles by a linebacker with 113 and tied for third-most forced fumbles with two in 2017.

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The old football adage says “the best ability is availability.” According to Pro Football Reference, Kirksey played 100 percent of the defensive snaps in 2016 and 2017 while leading the team in multiple statistical categories. It doesn’t get more available than that.

The Browns have young potential in Mack Wilson and Sione Takitaki in the linebacker room. Wilson stepped up in Kirksey’s absence and did a fairly decent job as a rookie.

Wilson compiled 82 combined tackles with four tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. He also notched an interception with seven pass defenses. While solid numbers, they pale in comparison to Kirksey.

Obviously, the brains that be will look to add to the skeleton of a linebacker room this offseason.

If the Browns are looking at the free-agent route, possible additions could be Blake Martinez from the Green Bay Packers or Cory Littleton from the Los Angeles Rams.

Both players played in all 16 games last season and put up comparable numbers to Kirksey when he’s healthy. Their market value is over $11 million per season, so the Browns will definitely need to open the checkbook.